Young ginger has a fresh, clean and milder flavour than older ginger. It is in season during summer.
- 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
- dash of dark soy
- dash of sake
- dash of mirin
- 300 g sushi or medium grain rice
- 1 cup bonito stock or dashi (see Note)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp dark soy
- 5 cm piece young ginger, grated, plus 1.5 cm piece young or pink ginger, finely julienned
- 10 cm piece grilled eel, chopped
- 1 cup chopped seasonal vegetables (carrots, shallots, shimeji mushrooms)
- 1 piece dried Japanese kelp
- 1 sheet nori (dried seaweed)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time 1½ hours
Soak the dried shitake mushrooms in water for 1½ hours. Simmer the soaked shitake with dark soy, sake and mirin until the mixture reduces by half. Retrieve the shitake and chop. Reserve the stock.
Wash/rinse rice and drain for 30 minutes. Place in a rice-cooker or heavy-based saucepan with lid. Add bonito stock, sugar, shitake stock, dark soy and grated young ginger and mix through.
On top of the mixture place chopped eel, chopped shallot, chopped carrot and chopped shitake. Top with kelp.
Cover and cook until the rice is tender and most of the liquid absorbed.
Just before serving lightly mix in julienned young ginger and roll into rice balls, bound with ribbons of nori. You can serve this with extra dashi on the side or a broth made with okra, young ginger, shitake, shallots and dashi.
Add a piece of fresh fish, steamed and topped with young ginger.
• You can make this yourself or buy ready-made dashi stock powder.